This spring, H'wood's three most celeb-rated landmarks toast milestone birthdays.
When the movies blew into Hollywood in the early 1910s, there was a post office, a couple of markets, two hotels, and nary a theater of any kind (ironically, a city ordinance restricted that). A decade later, the film biz firmly entrenched, Hollywood was fairly awash in tinsel. Prospect Avenue had been renamed Hollywood Boulevard, and on May 15, and May 18, 1927, two of the town’s most iconic structures debuted to much fanfare along that previously dusty lane. The Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, which would host the first Academy Awards exactly two years later, quickly became the stomping ground of moviedom’s swell set. Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, right across the street, premiered with Cecil B. DeMille’s Christian epic King of Kings, which no doubt helped to quell the town’s theater-hating Methodist founding fathers.
This spring, 90 years later, these Hollywood warhorses, both of which have undergone more face-lifts than a Beverly Hills housewife, are glittering again. Not to be overshadowed, Hollywood’s third most celebrated landmark, the Capitol Records building, is hosting the 75th anniversary of the world-famous music company, the first to put down roots on the West Coast, with a year-long series of tributes and parties.
Of course, times have changed. When Clark Gable and Carole Lombard first stayed in the penthouse of the Hollywood Roosevelt, it cost them five dollars a night. A movie ticket was 25 cents. And Frank Sinatra smoked unfiltered Camels while he recorded in Capitol Records’ legendary studios. Want to live it up today? The movie ticket and suite will cost you $6,021.75. The Camels, about six bucks. And make sure you take the latter outside.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY BETTMANN/GETTY IMAGES (CAPITOL RECORDS BUILDING); ANDREW ZARIVNY/SHUTTERSTOCK, INC. (GRAUMAN’S CHINESE THEATRE);
DAVID BUTOW/CORBIS VIA GETTY IMAGES (HAND PRINTS); AXELLE/BAUER-GRIFFIN/FILMMAGIC (STONE); COURTESY OF THE HOLLYWOOD ROOSEVELT (HOTEL)